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Something that has always confused me about cpu's(nm process)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well basically, with the newer cpu's coming out with smaller and smaller manufacturing process, how does having a smaller die enable them to fit MORE transistors? I thought it would've been the opposite. The smaller the process the less amount of transistors they can fit.
post #2 of 11
The smaller the process means the smaller the transistors means the more you can fit in the same area

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post #3 of 11
What are you talking about? If they make transistors smaller, then they can fit more of them into the same space.
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post #4 of 11
the Die is not smaller in area it becomes thinner. 45nm and 32nm refer to die thickness. actual areas of the die are getting larger. phenom II x6 is a 364 sq. mm die. and the reason that there keeps being more transistors is that the transistor keep getting smaller. I believe the smallest produced transistors were just at 4nm.
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post #5 of 11
Like people said. It is the size of the components that is reduced which allows more components per given area; hence more transistors.
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ah I didn't tihnk it was referring to the actual size of the transistors themselves, thanks for clearing that up, +rep'd all
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSP1 View Post
the Die is not smaller in area it becomes thinner. 45nm and 32nm refer to die thickness. actual areas of the die are getting larger. phenom II x6 is a 364 sq. mm die. and the reason that there keeps being more transistors is that the transistor keep getting smaller. I believe the smallest produced transistors were just at 4nm.
Question:
Are the performance gains in the ability to make the die area larger? If so, why do they need to shrink the thickness of the die to allow larger areas? Why don't they just make huuuuuge dies? (I imagine a Frisbee processor... )
Edited by SectorNine50 - 10/26/11 at 12:04pm
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post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SectorNine50 View Post
Question:
Is the performance gains in the ability to make the die area larger? If so, why do they need to shrink the thickness of the die to allow larger areas? Why don't they just make huuuuuge dies? (I imagine a Frisbee processor... )
Now I know nothing about processor manufacturing or how they operate but I could imagine that a massive processor wouldn't be so efficient and it would probably require a small nuclear power plant to operate
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post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SectorNine50 View Post
Question:
Is the performance gains in the ability to make the die area larger? If so, why do they need to shrink the thickness of the die to allow larger areas? Why don't they just make huuuuuge dies? (I imagine a Frisbee processor... )
With a smaller manufacturing process the components are closed together so you have a performance boost out of that. With large dies, the yield drops. It is very hard to produce a large die without problems. Another reason why some chips overclock better than others and are binned differently (some chips are produced 'cleaner').

Manufacturers pay for a wafer to be made. The more chips on that wafer, the more they make and the better the yield.
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post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SectorNine50 View Post
Question:
Is the performance gains in the ability to make the die area larger? If so, why do they need to shrink the thickness of the die to allow larger areas? Why don't they just make huuuuuge dies? (I imagine a Frisbee processor... )
The other issue with larger and larger dies without reducing the process size would generate more and more heat, so much that it would not be able to be dissipated properly
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